It’s no secret Will Hoge is and always has been a brilliant lyricist. Inside his Americana, Red Dirt, roots rock, blue collar songs have always been great stories with articulate feelings. Sometimes political, always personal, Hoge has an innate way with words.
Hoge’s 2018 album My American Dream was a sharply worded protest album that addressed everything from political corruption to social issue. With that off his chest, the typical line of thinking might be that he said what he needed to say and had gotten all of the fury and indignation out of his system.
There is no typical line of thinking when it comes to Hoge’s music. Typical is boring. Typical is mediocre. Typical is playing it safe and none of those have ever been used to describe Will Hoge.
Will doesn’t pull punches when it comes to his lyrics. It’s not that he doesn’t want to at times, it’s just when it comes to the song, he can’t. As many songwriters will tell you, the worst thing you can do is deny a song what it demands to be. Often times you might go into the writing of it with an idea of what you want it to become, but the song is more powerful than the writer and the message more important than the messenger. Hoge talked with American Songwriter about just that in “The Overthrow,” one of the tracks on the new album Tiny Little Movies, due out June 26th.
“The riff and the lyrics sort of got born together in this one. I liked the mix of the heavy, riff guitar and the vocal melody,” says Hoge. “It originally had a more verbose chorus, but the point seemed to be better made when that got scrapped and it became the repeat of ‘The Overthrow’.
Raw and amplified, “The Overthrow” is built to be delivered live and will be best served up amidst searing stage lights and a packed club. Building as if it were a rebellion unto itself, the song starts with the pulsating guitar with Hoge’s vocals quickly jumping in front. As the drums fall in line and the guitar starts to build you can feel the song getting bigger, getting stronger. It’s almost as if you can see it widening the way marchers fall in line behind a leader; walking tall, eyes focused and moving forward with a purpose. By the time the chorus finishes its first run through there is no question, the song and its message have arrived, and it damn well lets you know.
“I really tried to write into it NOT being a ‘political’ song, but it just is. With all that’s going on currently in our country, I’m glad I couldn’t talk myself into that.”
Photo: Katie Krauss